Ibiza: a journey through beaches, markets, gastronomy and nature

Ibiza is well suited to all types of travelers. Whether you are a family, a couple, a group of friends or maybe sportsmen looking for a particular environment, in Ibiza you will find an island full of unique emotions and suggestions.
With its 572 km² of total area, Ibiza is easy to explore, as you won’t have to travel too many kilometers from one point to the other on the island. The points of greatest interest are generally about 15 ‘away from each other and thus, you will have all the time to discover the beauties, the beaches and the gastronomy that this Balearic island has to offer.

The pleasures of the island

Kayaking in Ibiza
Kayaking in Ibiza
Image from Promoción Turística de Ibiza

Ibiza enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate that allows you to visit it, taking advantage of a good climate all year round.
With 3000 hours of sunshine per year, very little rainfall, turquoise waters and the possibility of practicing many “sea sports”, Ibiza offers many possibilities and freedom for recreation.
There is certainly no lack of nature, sunsets, the typical scents of the Mediterranean and the opportunity to fully enjoy the beaches of the island.


The nature

Posidonia Oceanica
Posidonia Oceanica
Underwater sea, Mediterranean, Balearic Islands, Ibiza, Spain

40% of the island is covered with pine and juniper forests divided into 1800 different species.
The flora, of the Mediterranean type, has a variety of 940 different species. 43% of Ibiza’s land area is protected, of which around 18% is divided into eight natural areas.
If that wasn’t enough, keep in mind that 75.4% of the island’s coastline is protected. Just to name a few, make a note of the Marine Reserve of the north-east coast of Ibiza-Tagomago, the Natural Reserves of Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and the islets to the west.
Although the wetlands of the island attract many species of birds, the characteristic animal of Ibiza remains the pythous lizard, easy to spot on the walls or in the paths.

Ibizan podenco
Podenco
Promoción turistica de Ibiza
Image by Vincent Marí

Another characteristic animal of the island is the Ibizan podenco, a particular breed of native dog of Egyptian origin that seems to have brought the Carthaginians in 654 AD, when they founded the city of Ibiza.
It is an elegant, agile, strong breed with a very supple walk.

According to UNESCO, Ibiza is a privileged environment for the conservation of Posidonia Oceanica, a World Heritage Site as well as an aquatic and endemic plant of the Mediterranean.
These aquatic plants are not only responsible for the purity of sea water but significantly contribute to reducing the erosion of marine coasts. Posidonia Oceanica is also a form of nourishment for various marine species and, for all these reasons, it is essential that it be preserved, avoiding damage or loss over the years.

Sea Salines, Ibiza
Sea Salines
Image by Vincent Marí

Sea Salines has become a natural park since 2001. With an area of 3000 land hectares and 13,000 sea hectares, the natural park of Ibiza is an environmental wealth and protected reserve for 210 species of birds, among which flamingos, Himantopus and the Balearic Shearwater stand out.
The park, thanks to its salt pans, is able to produce 50,000 tons of salt every year.


The UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Phoenician city, sa Caleta, Ibiza
Phoenician city, sa Caleta, Ibiza
Image Consell d’Eivissa

In addition to the aforementioned Posidonia Oceanica, Ibiza can avail itself of UNESCO heritage sites of all respect and historical importance. In 1999, UNESCO declared the walls of Dalt Vila a World Heritage Site, as the best-preserved coastal fortress in the whole of the Mediterranean.
The same goes for the remains of the Phoenician city of sa Caleta and the necropolis of Puig de Molins, perfectly preserved over time.

The Renaissance walls that “envelop” the ancient city with the Cathedral and the Almudaina Castle on top, are the most important monuments of Ibiza.
Dalt Vila is made up of narrow labyrinthine streets, calli and squares that give a sense of serenity completely opposite to that of the port, the bay and the commercial area of the barrios of la Marina and Sa Penya.

According to UNESCO, the remains of the Phoenician city of Sa Caleta and the Phoenician-Punic necropolis are a very important testimony of the life, culture and urbanization of the Phoenician and Carthaginian cultures.

The underwater grasslands of Posidonia oceanica represent a natural wealth both for Ibiza and for the global marine biodiversity. The so-called “lungs of the sea” present in the waters of the island are among the best preserved in the Mediterranean and, as such, they must remain.

Shopping and markets

Artisania market, Ibiza
Mercado artisania, Ibiza
Image by Jon Izeta

Shopping in Ibiza could be just as rewarding as doing it in a big city: from major international brands to small and young designers, passing through local crafts, it will be possible to find and discover everything on the island.
Dalt Vila, the barrio de La Marina, Avenida Bartolomé Roselló and Marina Botafoch are just some of the areas where you can go shopping for “depth”. Letting yourself be carried away by the colorful shop in the middle of a street is certainly the best thing to do. You can come in and find many surprises all of a sudden.

Sant’Eulària, Sant Josep, Sant Antoni and Sant Joan contain a multitude of excellent commercial boutiques inspired by local products where you can find authentic treasures.
The markets of Las Dalias and Punta Arabí are absolutely worth a visit. Las Dalias opens all year round on Saturdays, while in summer it also has a night “version”; unique.
Punta Arabí for 25 years every Wednesday with about 400 stalls.

But if you love stalls and markets, you cannot miss the local handicraft stalls at the Port of Ibiza, Figueretes, Sant’Eulària, Sant Antoni, Sant Joan, San Miquel or the works of the potters of San Rafael.

Local gastronomy

Squid fried
Frita de calamar
Image by Vincent Marí

The gastronomy of Ibiza is mainly based on the Mediterranean trilogy, consisting of wheat, wine and olive oil. The sea and the land so generous have always given possibilities and multitudes of traditional recipes, elaborated according to the season and the climatic conditions of the island.

Flaó
Flaó
Image by Vincent Marí
Ibiza wine
Vino de Ibiza
Image by Vincent Marí

The food markets


The traditions of the island

Ball Pagés: Traditional Ibiza dance
Ball pagés
Image San Joan de Labritja

Ibiza boasts a rich heritage of traditions that allow anyone who visits it to immerse themselves even more in the heart of the island. The island’s countryside has been self-sufficient for generations thanks to the spirit of self-adaptation and the ability of the people of Ibiza to make the most of nature’s resources.
On the island you will find many examples of traditional architecture that, over the years, have allowed the Balearic island to get the nickname of Isla Blanca. Just get lost in the back streets to admire how many white houses have been converted into restaurants or to discover some very white building submerged in nature.

Rural architecture in Ibiza
Rural architecture, Ibiza
Image by Vincent Marí

Ball pagès, the traditional Ibiza dance, stands out for being a unique folkloric representation in the Mediterranean. With centuries of antiquity and an uncertain origin, this ancient courtship dance takes place in all the popular festivals of the island and in the weekly performances scheduled during the summer tourist season.

Playing sports in Ibiza

By bike in Ibiza
By bike in Ibiza
Image by Jon Izeta

Finding a sport that suits you in Ibiza shouldn’t be difficult. After eating, shopping, sunbathing on the beach and maybe staying late at night, a little healthy sport would be good for anyone. A lot of greenery lends itself well to sports such as golf, horse riding, walking, running or cycling, while the sea and the beaches offer the canonical multitude of water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing and much more.

It is almost superfluous to remember that Ibiza is also full of many sporting events throughout the year: marathon, half marathon, regattas, cycle tour, trial and much more. For professional and non-professional sportsmen, but also for all fans, in Ibiza there are always interesting events to follow.


What to do and see in Ibiza

Dalt Vila

Plaza de Vila, Ibiza
Plaza de Vila
Image by Aurelio Martinelli

All months are perfect for visiting the fortress district of Ibiza, although it is during the afternoons and summer evenings that you will find more “life” thanks to the restaurants open around the squares of Vila, Sa Carrossa and del Sol.
A walk to the cathedral and the castle will make you discover medieval palaces, secluded squares, art galleries and beautiful corners in the purest Mediterranean style.

The walls and ramparts: declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, the Renaissance citadel of Ibiza is the best preserved in the Mediterranean. It was built during the second half of the 16th century following the plan promoted by the monarchs Carlos I and Felipe II to modernize the military infrastructure of the strategic coastal territories of the Spanish Crown with the aim of improving the defense against attacks by the Ottoman Empire and others enemies of the time.
The complex, which was originally only accessed from the Portal de Ses Taules and the Portal Nou, is made up of seven bastions, of which the two on the western side are museumized: Sant Jaume and Sant Pere.
From the rest of the ramparts you can admire magnificent views of the city, the beaches of Ses Figueretes, Platja d’en Bossa, Es Cavallet and the nearby island of Formentera.

Museums:

  • Necropolis of Puig des Molins
  • Ibiza Museum of Contemporary Art(MACE)
  • Puget Museum
  • Cathedral and Diocesan Museum

The historic districts outside the walls: La Marina and Sa Penya maintain the port character of Mediterranean cities, with simple houses with white facades and a marked seafaring air. Located near the port, the streets of these neighborhoods are full of entertainment during the summer tourist season thanks to their boutiques, shops, bars, restaurants. Ice cream parlors and cafes, many with views of the marina and the luxurious boats that dock there. The Parque and Vara de Rey squares, with their remarkable colonial-style buildings, are worth a stop during a stroll through the center of Ibiza.

La Marina in te ebvening, Ibiza
La Marina
Image by Aurelio Martinelli
From Promoción Turística de Ibiza

7 things to do in Ibiza

  1. Go shopping in La Marina, Dalt Vila or Eixample, where Adlib fashion boutiques, stalls, traditional shops, national and international brands, art galleries, multi-brand shops await you.
  2. Take the water taxi that connects the district of La Marina with the promenade and the beach of Talamanca.
  3. See how the artisans work their pieces in the Sa Pedrera craft market, open to the public on Fridays.
  4. Enjoy the lively nightlife of the city, especially that of Dalt Vila, La Marina, the port, the promenade and Ses Figueretes.
  5. Walk along the walls from bastion to bastion, paying attention to its informative panels and museum spaces.
  6. Join the theatrical guided tours organized by the Municipality of Ibiza.
  7. Buy sweets in the cloistered convent of Sant Cristòfol, popularly known as Ses Monges Tancades (the closed nuns), and other Ibizan gastronomic products in the Mercat Nou and Mercat Vell markets.

Beaches

Talamanca, Ibiza
Talamanca, Ibiza
Image from Promoción Turística de Ibiza

The capital has accessible beaches where you can enjoy swimming and water sports. North of the town hall, in the bay of Talamanca, there is the 900-meter-long beach of the same name, with various services and catering. Closer to the historic center is the beach of Ses Figueretes, along which the district of the same name extends and a multitude of accommodation, restaurants, shops, cafes, bars and pubs. Following on from Ses Figueretes, there is Platja d’en Bossa, a long sandy beach shared by the municipalities of Ibiza and San Sant Josep which has one of the most developed tourist offers on the island.


8 things to do in Sant’Eulària

Las Dalias Market
Las Dalias market
Image from Promoción Turística de Ibiza
  1. Reach the islet of Tagomago by kayak or explore the stretches between Pou des Lleó and Canal d’en Martí and between Cala Llonga and Santa Eulària.
  2. Enjoy the rural landscape of Santa Gertrudis on horseback.
  3. Follow the circular trekking paths of the town hall, such as the one that goes up to the Torre d’en Vall.
  4. Surfing in Cala Martina and Cala Pada, getting started in the world of sailing on the beach of Santa Eulària and diving in Cala Llenya, Cala Mestella or Pou des Lle.
  5. Buy Ibizan-style souvenirs at the hippy markets of Las Dalias and Punta Arabí and visit the artisan market of Santa Gertrudis.
  6. Approach Sant Carles, Cala Nova and the hippy market of Las Dalias aboard a tourist train.
  7. Enjoy a trip along the east coast on board the ferry that connects the port of Ibiza with the tourist centers of Es Canar, Santa Eulària and Cala Llonga.
  8. Set foot on eleven shores in a single day following the Route of the Beaches, a circular route for mountain biking that passes through Cala Nova, Cala Llenya, Cala Mestella, Cala Boix, Es Figueral and S’Aigua Blanca, among other beaches.



The beaches of Sant’Eulària

Cala nova, Ibiza
Cala Nova
Image from Promoción Turística de Ibiza

Sandy beaches, steep cliffs rising from the coast, wild coves and a generous number of islets form the beautiful littoral landscape of Santa Eulària. Along its 46 kilometers, there are frequent shores of calm waters suitable for bathing children and with a wide range of services, such as Cala Llonga, Cala Pada, Cala Martina, Es Niu Blau, S’Argamassa, Es Canar, Platja des Riu de Santa Eulària and the urban beach of Santa Eulària, the first of the Balearic Islands to declare itself a “smoke-free beach” where smoking is not allowed.
The shores best known for their photogenic beauty are S’Aigua Blanca and Es Figueral – both overlooking the islet of Tagomago-, Cala Nova, Cala Llenya and Cala Boix – Ibiza’s only dark sand beach-, while the most intimate coves are Cala Mestella, Pou des Lleó, S’Estanyol and Cala Olivera.


What to do in San Josep

Es vedrà, Ibiza
Es vedrà, Ibiza
Image by Jamie Turek from Pixabay

The village of Sant Josep is quiet and surrounded by cultivated fields. Its small urban core has grown around its church and street. The temple was built in 1730 following the characteristics of popular Ibizan architecture and is the only church on the island with a sundial on the facade. You can have a coffee in the charming little square located in front of the temple, browse its shops and galleries and enjoy many local dishes in its many restaurants. In addition, fans of cinema and theater will find a rich program at the Can Jeron Culture Center.

The Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta is located a few meters from the Es Bol Nou beach. This deposit is one of the four sites in Ibiza declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its origin as a settlement dates back to the 8th century BC. and you can see the remains of the urban layout and two ovens.

7 things to do in San Josep

  1. Visit the Ses Salines Interpretation Center near the church of Sant Francesc. Inside, information is provided on the ecological importance of the salt ponds, the dune strings, the Posidonia oceanica meadows and the cliffs of the natural park and on the numerous marine and terrestrial species that host these habitats, such as the pitiusa lizard (Podarcis pityusensis ), the seahorse (Hippocampus ramulosus), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), the flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) or the stilt (Himantopus himantopus).
  2. Stroll along the coast in search of the surveillance towers in the south and west of Ibiza: Es Carregador or Sa Sal Rossa, Ses Portes, Es Savinar and En Rovira.
  3. See the Ibiza sunset from the various bars and cafes located in Portmany bay or from the shores of Cala Tarida, Port des Torrent or Platges de Comte.
  4. Practice numerous water activities in the bay of Portmany, and in the nearby tourist centers of Cala de Bou and Platja Pinet.
  5. Plan an excursion to discover the ecological and landscape values of the Natural Reserves of Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and the western islets.
  6. Go to the Sant Josep market on Saturdays to look for local agricultural products (open during the summer tourist season) or take part in the colorful atmosphere of the Sant Jordi second-hand market (all year round).
  7. Climb to the top of Sa Talaia, the highest mountain in Ibiza with a height of 475 meters. It is one of the most attractive trips for hikers and cyclists in the municipality, as from the top you can enjoy a wonderful view over a large part of the island.

The beaches of San Josep

Platges de Comte
Platges de Comte
Image by Vincent Marí

Sant Josep has more than 20 beaches and coves for all tastes and needs, including Platja d’en Bossa, the longest sandy beach in Ibiza and one of the busiest thanks to the wide range of hotels, restaurants, clubs , pubs and water and nautical businesses.
The wild beaches of Ses Salines, Cala Jondal, Cala Bassa, the set of coves that make up Platges de Comte and Cala d’Hort stand out for their beauty and popularity, the best viewpoint on the famous islet of Es Vedrà. Other unique shores are Es Cavallet – of nudist tradition -, Cala Codolar, Es Bol Nou, Cala Carbó, Cala Molí or the beaches of Cala Vedella, Cala Tarida and Port des Torrent, with a family atmosphere.

What to do and see in Sant Antoni

Puesta de sol Sant Antoni
Puesta de sol Sant Antoni
Image by Menchu Redondo

The beauty of its bay, the spectacular sunsets with the Ponente islets in the background and a practically unchanged rural landscape are three of the great attractions of Sant Antoni, a destination open to all travelers that always surprises, whether near the sea or inland.

Sunset in Ses Variades: the stretch of the promenade between Caló des Moro and the breakwater is known as Ses Variades and during the summer it becomes one of the most visited places on the island thanks to the bars and cafes that play music at sunset, often offered by famous DJs.
Outside the summer tourist season, the promenade allows you to enjoy beautiful sunsets in a peaceful environment.

Route of the churches: the temple of Sant Antoni, whose origin dates back to the 14th century, is an excellent example of a Pythian church-fortress that still has its defensive tower and the starting point of this itinerary. Inland, the silhouettes of the small church of Santa Agnès, whose portico is located near the ancient main entrance, and the temple of Sant Mateu, crowned by a simple bell gable, give a singular beauty to the rural landscape of both. valleys.
For its part, a visit to the church of Sant Rafel, built in the late eighteenth century, offers an excellent view of the city of Ibiza and a curvilinear bell tower that gives lightness to the austere facade.

Almond blossom
Almond blossom
Image from Promoción Turística de Ibiza

Santa Agnès and the almond trees: this small hamlet is located in the Pla de Corona valley, one of the most peaceful places in Ibiza. The best time to visit is between January and February, when its hundreds of almond trees bloom.

The vineyards of Sant Mateu: the north of the municipality is traditionally linked to wine production and currently hosts the plants of two wineries on the island that produce wines with I.G.P. Ibiza, Vino de la Tierra | Vi de la Terra.

5 things to do in Sant Antoni

  1. Practicing water and nautical sports offered in the bay: diving, sailing, kitesurfing, paddle surfing, water skiing, parasailing, jet skis, kayaking, fishing …
  2. Enjoy a boat trip to admire the beauty of the cliffs of Ses Balandres and Cala d’Albarca, as well as the Natural Reserves of Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and the islets to the west.
  3. Walk the coastal path that connects Sant Antoni to Cala Salada, go cycling in the area known as Es Broll, stroll through the Pla de Corona until you reach the cliff overlooking the islets of Ses Margalides
  4. Buy local products in the Forada Market (Saturday), at the Sant Antoni Agricultural Market (Friday) or at the Sant Rafel Handicraft Market (Thursday, from July to September).
  5. Visit a winery to taste the wines of the island.

The beaches of Sant Antoni

Cala Gració
Cala Gració

Sant Antoni is home to coves and beaches ideal for children who also stand out for the beauty of the environment or its views. Within the urban core of Sant Antoni there are the beaches of Es Puetó, S’Arenal and Caló des Moro, which are added to the beaches of the bay that administratively belong to Sant Josep.
A few minutes by car or bus from the town are Cala Gració and Cala Gracioneta, two coves surrounded by pine trees, separated by a small promontory; the turquoise waters of the photogenic coastline formed by Cala Salada and Cala Saladeta – one of the most photographed in Ibiza – and the stone terraces of Punta Galera, an ancient stone quarry that has become a favorite place for nudist practitioners.

What to do and see in Sant Joan

Sant Miquel church
Sant Miquel church
Image by Vincent Marí

Sant Joan and its church: the town that gives its name to the town hall is a quiet and charming place, whose few houses are located along the road and around the church dedicated to an John the Baptist. The temple, completed in 1770, is structured around a single rectangular nave with a ribbed vault and seven side chapels. Other hallmarks of the temple are its bell tower, built in the 19th century, and its portico with two arches. On Sundays, the square in front of the church becomes a meeting point for visitors who go to the artisan and gastronomic market.

6 things to do in Sant Joan

  1. Admire the beauty of the cliffs of northern Ibiza aboard the excursion boats that depart from Portinatx.
  2. Explore the surroundings of the beaches of Portinatx, Port de Sant Miquel and Cala de Sant Vicent on a paddle surf board or on a pedal boat.
  3. Follow the itinerary that leads to Punta des Moscarter and the homonymous lighthouse, the highest in the Balearic Islands; or walk down to the remote virgin cove of Es Portitxol, on the coast of Sant Miquel.
  4. Admire the fabulous views from the top of the Torre des Molar, located a few kilometers from the Port de Sant Miquel and where you arrive after a trek.
  5. Buy handicrafts and agricultural products from the north of Ibiza at the Sant Joan Sunday market.
  6. Get on the tourist train that leaves from Portinatx and discover some of the most beautiful corners of the north of the island.

The beaches of San Joan

Cala de Sant Vicent
Cala de Sant Vicent
Images from Promoción Turística de Ibiza

The north coast is home to coves for all tastes, from those with all services to those hidden under the cliffs, suitable for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle or practice nudism. The beaches of Port de Sant Miquel, Cala de Sant Vicent, S’Arenal Gran, S’Arenal Petit and Port de Portinatx have equipment, restaurants, shops and water activity rentals, making them a very suitable choice for families.
Benirràs is also very popular, thanks to its hippy environment, its sunsets and the uniqueness of the landscape of its fishermen’s cottages with the islet of Cap Bernat. The remaining coves of Sant Joan are perfect for those who do not need services or for those who simply want a kiosk close at hand to be able to rent sunbeds and umbrellas: Cala de Xarraca, Cala des Xuclar, Cala d’en Serra, S’Illot des Renclí, Es Pas de s’Illa and Caló des Moltons.



%d bloggers like this: